Drape Drape Dress no. 5

This dress is made using pattern no. 5 from the Japanese sewing book drape drape. I've made two other dresses from this book (No. 4 and No. 6). This was the most difficult, mostly due to some big mistakes on my part. I've probably been working on this dress for about a year. I'm so glad that it is FINALLY finished.

I decided to make a few adjustments to the pattern. First, I raised the v-back to make it less revealing. I cut all the pieces and decided that the front bodice was not big enough. I paper pieced, redrafted and recut.

Construction of the bodice was going fine until I got to the skirt. I spent a few hours trying to figure out how to attach the skirt to the bodice and finally figured out that I had cut 1 skirt piece but needed 2. And I did not have enough extra fabric to cut another. I went back to Michael Levine thinking maybe I could buy more. And I did find a knit magenta fabric. I bought 3 yards, brought it home, washed it. And it was slightly thicker than the original.

So, I was stuck. Months went by. One day, I went to the Michael Levine bulk store and found magenta knit fabric. It looked the same and felt the same, so of course I bought it. And miracle of miracles it was the same as my original fabric! I cut the second piece of the skirt and proceeded piecing the dress together.

I went so far as to insert the zipper. All I had left to do was hem it. I tried on the dress and the bodice was now too big. I let more months go by in despair. Finally, I picked it up again, figured out what adjustments were needed and redrafted the bodice again. I eliminated the overlap at the center front in favor of a center front seam. I had just enough fabric to cut a new bodice and lining. This time, I added interfacing to the seams on the lining. I removed the old one and put in the bodice. The last step was the hem and I was finally done. Throughout the process, I stitched the seams with a piece of tissue paper underneath to help feed the fabric under the presser foot. I used scrap tissue from other patterns and gently tore it away after stitching.

Overall, I'm pleased with the end result but mostly glad to finally be done.


  1. The dress is gorgeous. Gladly you were able to save and finished it. It looks fabulous on you!

  2. WOWEEE. All that work was worth it, because this dress is a knockout on you!

  3. beautiful! i'm making one up now so i need to see others' for inspiration. interesting how you cut the front the same as the back--i like it!

  4. I like your alterations to the bodice - it makes your version more wearable than the original (which I made and found was pretty revealing - so much that I didn't put them on the internet).

  5. I'd love to make this in red silk crepe, any idea whether it old be possible to piece it together from 115cm width fabric!

  6. I'm sure a red silk crepe would be lovely. You might be able to piece it together. The pattern pieces are pretty crazy though. I think you'll just have to lie the pattern pieces on the fabric and see how it works.

  7. I am trying to so the same dress, and I have some issues to undestand how to do the draped part since there is a lack of clear instructions. Second issue: You cut to parts and I guess, both are sew in the center of the garment. HELPPPPPPPPPPP

    1. Hi Livonet, There are two pieces for the skirt with seams in the center front and center back. The pleats are shown on the printed pattern. I probably spent a few hours pinning it before I stitched. Good luck!!


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